Tag Archives | Income

The One Percent Is Hogging so Much of Our Income That It’s Holding the Economy Back

meanlifeAre the rich intentionally trying to make the rest of us poor, thus preserving their own power?  Anthony W. Orlando writes at Informed Comment:

We all know that inequality has been rising and the average American household has been suffering. There is a myth that says all this suffering is necessary, that extreme inequality is the by-product of a rapidly growing economy—or worse, that it’s a good thing because it motivates everyone to work hard and climb the long ladder to the One Percent.

Even a brief glance at the historical record reveals just how perverted this hypothesis is.

For one thing, the economy has not been growing rapidly since inequality started climbing. From 1950 to 1980, “real gross domestic product (GDP)”—the output of the economy, adjusted for inflation—grew by 3.8 percent per year. From 1980 to 2010, it grew by 2.7 percent per year. (Since then, it’s been even worse.)

So income inequality hasn’t been “growth-enhancing” at all.

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Income Disparity Threatens to “Unravel Social Contract”

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

The gulf between the rich and the poor continues to grow exponentially and stands to “unravel the social contract in many countries,” according to a report released Monday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 17 out of 22 countries the OECD measured, income inequality has risen steadily for more than three decades and now sits at the highest levels in recent history. The study found the average income of the richest 10% of a population is nine times that of the poorest 10%. The income gap in “traditionally egalitarian countries” like Demark and Sweden rose from 5 to 1 in the 80’s to 6 to 1 today, and in America, the income gap is a staggering 14 to 1.

Inequality in wages and salaries is the largest contributing factor to the rise in income disparity. Other factors include an increase in part time work and declining collective bargaining agreements between workers and employers; disparity between workers with higher technological skills and those without; and regulatory reforms that created mainly low wage jobs.… Read the rest

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Senator Orrin Hatch To Poor: Do More For The Rich

Senator Orrin HatchAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

According to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the poor and middle class aren’t doing enough to share the economic burden in America. In a speech on the Senate floor, the 77 year old Republican, whose net worth is estimated from $2 to $5 million and takes in a $174,000 per year salary from the Senate, said that the poor “need to share some of the responsibility” of the deficit, and that he preferred the Republican approach of “shared prosperity.”

Hatch went on to say that “51 percent of wage earners, of all households, do not pay income taxes.” He attempted to clarify a few sentences later, saying that payroll taxes were the same thing as social security taxes.

Senator Hatch appears deeply out of touch with exactly what “poor” people endure and where most of the federal budget goes. The richest Americans Hatch felt the need to so quickly defend pay less taxes than the previous generation, and the only people who really pay any taxes are those who earn so little they don’t qualify to pay according to the tax code, or are unemployed.… Read the rest

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Major Corporations To Hide Income Disparity

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

A group of 81 major corporations believe that public knowledge of what their CEOs make in respect to the average worker is “useless” information. The Washington Post reports that more than a year ago (H/T Alternet), some of America’s biggest corporate movers and shakers began lobbying Congress to force changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, so companies needn’t bother disclose the wage gulf between executives and workers. A House committee approved the bill 33–21.

Rep. Nan A.S. Hayworth (R-NY), who sponsored The Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act (HR1062), said comparing a CEO’s wage to the average worker could “mislead or confuse investors” and that such a comparison “creates heat but sheds no light.” Tim Bartl, senior vice president and general counsel for the Center on Executive Compensation asked “You can already tell where a CEO falls relative to his peers, you can already tell where he falls relative to the average worker in the industry.… Read the rest

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